Thu Oct 17 5:51pm ET
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) scores a touchdown next to Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Damien Wilson (54) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) runs past a tackle attempt by Kansas City Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill (22) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates his touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) is upended by Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Houston Texans running back Carlos Hyde (23) is held back by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward (35) and cornerback Kendall Fuller, rear, during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich heads off the field after the Colts defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 19-13 in sn NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich prefers taking the aggressive approach.
His coaching staff understands it. His players respect it. And opponents know they must be prepared to confront it.
Sometimes, the fourth-down gambles pay off - as they did earlier this season at Tennessee and Kansas City. Sometimes, they backfire. Either way, though, Reich acknowledges he's willing to take the same risky call against Houston on Sunday as he did in last year's home overtime loss to the Texans.
''Those decisions always come down to what's best for the team in the moment,'' Reich said. ''A lot of things go into those decisions, but primarily like you said, it's a belief in the players. Yes, we think situationally it calls for it, but it really stems from a belief that we'll get it done.''
Nobody has been better playing the odds this season than Reich.
Indy has converted all seven fourth-down attempts, the gutsiest call coming from its 35-yard line with less than 2+ minutes to go in a two-point game at Tennessee.
And when things don't go right, such as the incompletion on fourth-and-4 from the Indy 43 with 24 seconds left in overtime against Houston, Reich still seems to hit the jackpot. While the Colts lost that game, he won over the locker room with a season-changing moment.
Indy has won 13 of its 19 games since then including twice at Houston late last season.
''Frank made the call he felt was best for his team and that's in my opinion what Frank does well,'' coach Bill O'Brien said after the Texans converted a key fourth down at Kansas City last week. ''He's an aggressive coach. You know sometimes you have to do in your mind what's best for your team from your preparation and where you are in the game. Those are things that Frank does very well.''
It keeps everyone on their toes - and the bye week may only give Reich more time to contemplate how to play it Sunday.
''I think that mentality is what carries beyond that one play,'' he said. ''I think that's an example of what happened last year. Yeah, that was one play, but it was the belief and conviction in our players I think that carries longer than the one play.''
Four-time Pro Bowler T.Y. Hilton has thrived against the Texans over the years.
In 15 games, the Colts receiver has 78 receptions, 1,506 yards and nine touchdowns. Late last season, with an ankle injury, he still managed to haul in 11 catches for 260 yards in the games at Houston.
The Texans know just tough Hilton can be.
''He's fast, great route runner, can come in and out of his breaks, understands how to attack leverage, has great experience,'' O'Brien said. ''He's seen all of the coverages there are, so he knows how to get open. He's got good chemistry with Jacoby and I think he's targeted quite a bit. It's a challenge.''
HOLDING THE LINE
The Colts went from worst in sacks allowed in 2017 to first last season. Now Houston is trying to follow a similar blueprint.
While Jacoby Brissett has gone down just six times, tied for the second fewest in the league, the Texans have made a dramatic turnaround after giving up 18 sacks during the first four weeks.
Neither Brissett nor Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson have been sacked in their past two games.
''They're doing a heck of a job of playing as a unit,'' Watson said. ''Everyone is up there with the right mindset, positive attitude and always playing the next play. So, those guys up there have been doing a heck of a job.''
The Colts, meanwhile, have only allowed one sack in their past five October games.
Running back Carlos Hyde fit exactly what the Texans wanted when they acquired him from Kansas City on Aug. 31 - after losing Lamar Miller to a season-ending knee injury.
Hyde has been the key to the league's No. 5 rushing attack (139.8 yards) and ran for a season-high 116 yards and one touchdown last weekend.
He's 10th in the NFL with 426 yards rushing and has three touchdowns this season.
HOME, SWEET, HOME
After Indy won 13 straight home games to open the series, Houston has taken three of past four at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Colts' lone victory during this current run came in the 2017 season finale, with Brissett closing out the season as the starter. Indy also had a seven-game home winning streak snapped by Oakland on Sept. 29.
After winning his second-straight game, head coach Brian Flores declared that Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick would remain the starter for "the foreseeable future". Fitzpatrick didn't exactly shine in the Dolphins 16-12 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 10, throwing for 169 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception, salvaging 12 fantasy points on the day with an 11-yard touchdown run late in the second half. Save for the one touchdown drive, Miami's offense was mostly inept in victory, totaling just 229 yards on the day. Fitzpatrick needs to stay on the waiver wire in Week 11, as the Dolphins will face a Buffalo Bills team that's allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in 2019.
A popular streaming option headed into a Week 10 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki scored zero fantasy points in Miami's 16-12 victory on the road. The second-year tight end had three receptions for 28 yards, with a lost fumble on Miami's first drive negating what few points Gesicki would earn on the day. While his six targets were second on the team to the ten of Devante Parker, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick targeted Gesicki mostly on shorter routes, throwing him only one ball down the field. With teammate Preston Williams out for the remainder of the season, Gesicki could occasionally be worth a look as a streaming candidate given his likely volume of targets. Just probably not when the Dolphins host the Bills in Week 11, as Buffalo is allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends in 2019.
New York Jets LB Brandon Copeland (hip) is dealing with a hip strain and is scheduled to meet with a specialist.
Free-agent S DeShawn Shead (Seahawks) worked out for the Oakland Raiders Monday, Nov. 11, according to a source.
Free-agent WR Deon Cain was signed to the Indianapolis Colts practice squad Monday, Nov. 11.
San Francisco 49ers TE Garrett Celek (back) was activated from the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, Nov. 11. The team also waived CB Dontae Johnson.
Cleveland Browns WR Antonio Callaway's benching was only for the Week 10 game, and he will return to the lineup for Week 11, according to head coach Freddie Kitchens.
Fantasy Spin: Callaway likely will serve as the No. 3 receiver for the Browns this week against a good Pittsburgh Steelers defense. Fantasy players can consider benching Callaway if they have better options available.
Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. (groin) fully participated in practice Monday, Nov. 11. The Browns did not hold a practice Monday, so this is an estimation.
Fantasy Spin: Beckham was targeted a season high 12 times in the last game and should continue to be a focal point in the passing game. He will be facing a good Pittsburgh Steelers defense but can still be a No. 1 receiver in fantasy leagues.
Cleveland Browns WR Jarvis Landry (hip) fully participated in practice Monday, Nov. 11. The Browns did not hold a practice Monday, so this is an estimation.
Fantasy Spin: Landry is coming off one of his better games of the season in Week 10 and has been targeted at least 10 times in each of the last three games. He should be at least a No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues this week.
Former Chicago Bears RB Mike Davis was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Monday, Nov. 11, according to a source.
Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) fully participated in practice Monday, Nov. 11. The Steelers did not hold a practice Monday, so this is an estimation.
Fantasy Spin: Conner is expected to play this week and should receive most of the carries in the running game. He can be considered at least a No. 2 running back in fantasy leagues.
Carolina Panthers CB Corn Elder was signed off the Panthers' practice squad by the New York Giants on Monday, Nov. 11. OL Evan Brown was waived to make room for him on the roster.
New York Giants TE Rhett Ellison (concussion) was placed in the league's concussion protocol Monday, Nov. 11.
New York Giants CB Janoris Jenkins (concussion) and Nate Solder (concussion) were placed in the league's concussion protocol Monday, Nov. 11.
Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (ankle) is 'day-to-day' and will see if he can run on his injured ankle without experiencing swelling on Wednesday, Nov. 13, according to head coach Zac Taylor.
Fantasy Spin: It's almost pointless anymore to speculate if and/or when Green is going to return, although owners can probably remain optimistic considering the team has yet to place him on the Reserve/Injured list. If he can somehow play this week, he'll return to a very favorable matchup against the Oakland Raiders. Stay tuned for updates.
Pittsburgh Steelers LB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi (hips), LB Anthony Chickillo (ribs), FB Roosevelt Nix (knee), RB Benny Snell (knee) and WR Ryan Switzer (back) did not practice Monday, Nov. 11. OG Ramon Foster (concussion) was limited. RB James Conner (shoulder) was listed as a full participant. The Steelers did not hold a practice on Monday, so the injury report is an estimation.
Cleveland Browns DB Eric Murray (knee) and DE Olivier Vernon (knee) did not practice Monday, Nov. 11. TE Ricky Seals-Jones (knee) was limited. WR Odell Beckham Jr. (groin), OG Joel Bitonio (back), CB T.J. Carrie (back), DE Myles Garrett (knee) OT Kendall Lamm (knee), WR Jarvis Landry (hip), S Damarious Randall (chest) and OT Greg Robinson (shoulder) practiced in full. The Browns did not hold a practice on Monday, so the injury report is an estimation.
Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt will 'continue to get opportunities,' and head coach Freddie Kitchens expects Hunt's role to continue growing after playing well in Week 10.
Fantasy Spin: If the Browns have done one thing right this season, it might be that Nick Chubb has been a near-lock for 20 touches. That didn't change in Hunt's debut, even though the former Kansas City Chief finished with four carries and seven catches. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out going forward, but 10 touches per week will be enough for someone with Hunt's talent to be a serviceable flex option in most leagues.
New York Jets TE Chris Herndon (ribs) is expected to miss 'an extended amount of time' with a fractured rib, according to head coach Adam Gase.
Fantasy Spin: It's been one thing after another the season for Herndon, who celebrated ending a season-opening four-game suspension by hurting his hamstring. Owners who waited that out were rewarded with one catch for seven yards in Week 10 before this injury. It's probably safe to drop Herndon at this point in redraft leagues. Ryan Griffin has filled in capably at times for desperate fantasy owners and should be a serviceable streamer the rest of the way.